A leading Nigerian rights group is urging the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Islamic extremists who abducted 276 schoolgirls, saying concern and condemnation are not enough.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project said it is time for the council to “act decisively”. The cost of inaction is “too high to contemplate”, they said.
It comes as more experts are expected in Nigeria to help in the search, including US hostage negotiators.
Nigeria’s government belatedly accepted offers of help this week from the United States, Britain, France, China and Spain amid mounting national and international outrage at its failure to rescue the girls abducted by Boko Haram militants from a north-eastern school on April 15.
The militants are threatening to sell the girls into slavery.
The call for action adds to the growing condemnation by Moslems in Nigeria and abroad against the Boko Haram terrorist network and its acts.
Former Nigerian military ruler General Ibrahim Babangida urged the country’s Moslems to rise up against the extremists sullying the name of Islam.
“Islam enjoins you to live peacefully with fellow human beings . . . Therefore, anybody who will come and smear our name, all Moslems should kick against that. Moslems should also do everything possible to stop this continued blackmail against the religion of Islam. We must prepare to fight it,” he said in an interview.
From Doha, Qatar, the International Union for Moslem Scholars condemned “the terrible crimes offensive to Islam” and said the actions of Boko Haram “are very far from Islamic teachings”.
It called on Boko Haram to immediately release the girls, saying that threats to sell them into slavery are against Islamic Shariah law.
Boko Haram has said it wants to enforce Shariah law across the entire country though Nigeria’s population of 170million is divided almost equally between Christians and Moslems.
Shariah is pursued to varying degrees in most northern states.